With much speculation from users, and quite clear indications from Twitter itself, it seems that the popular social media platform is going to scrap its 140-character restriction in favour of an almost-impossible-to-exceed 10,000-character limit. This has come as a shock to many of us avid tweeters, especially due to the fact that Twitter began as a micro-blogging site. Chief Executive of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, wrote earlier this month that the character restriction has become "a beautiful constraint... [but] we see [users] taking screenshots of text and tweeting it”, which shows the logic behind a future Twitter with a 10k maximum.
However, China's most popular micro-blogging platform, Sina Weibo, has beaten them to the punch. Sina Weibo has recently announced that it is dropping its 140-character limit, giving users a much more lenient 2,000 characters to work with. Sina Weibo’s new character restrictions will be put into place for ‘senior’ members from today, and opened up to the public from 28 February. We could be optimistic here and hope that this might make Twitter hold back and watch Sina Weibo closely to see what happens, but of course it might make Twitter race even quicker to match its competitor’s hand.
Sadly, it’s quite clear that the beauty of Twitter’s 140-character restriction is going to be missed by many users (including @sobananapenguin). The enforced brevity results in us writing content differently than we do on Facebook and other channels, making every character count. Being twenty words over the limit gives us an editorial role over our own posts, encouraging us to consider which words are truly necessary and when to use them. All this aside, the very term "tweet" implies a short message rather than a monologue without limit; with a 10k capacity, we’ll no longer be truly tweeting.
This single development could mean big changes for how businesses use social media to promote their brands, services and products. The simple interactions that allow professionals to network around the globe in such simple and effective ways might forever be remembered as a global age for people such as journalists and academics. Having a practically unlimited option to put a message forward can cause people to become disinterested, or simply bored, and stop reading. So, if the new 10,000-character limit goes forward, we hope that it comes as a reassurance to readers that sobananapenguin are planning to keep our clients' Twitter content as close to 140 characters as possible, retaining the feel and delivery that make it so impactful and engaging.
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